11. Queen Isabella of Castile
Queen Isabella found herself in the position of royalty when she chose to marry Ferdinand, the heir to the throne of Aragon. She was best known for sponsoring Christopher Columbus’s voyage, and thus brought wealth to the Spanish crown.
9. Queen Elizabeth Woodville
Known as the “White Queen,” Elizabeth Woodville was a skilled seductress. Her first husband was killed by King Edward IV, whom Elizabeth then lured into marriage with her irresistible beauty. Because she was considered a commoner, their marriage was a scandal in the kingdom — but she held her own. After several decades, many years of childbearing and the death of her husband, Elizabeth finally stepped out of the public eye to make way for her daughter: the “White Princess.”
8. Tamar of Georgia
Queen Tamar of Georgia (sometimes called the King of Tamar) was the first woman to rule medieval Georgia during the “Golden Age.” Defeating any opposition to her authority, Tamar continued the growth and fortify the strength of her empire.
7. Queen Zenobia
Queen Zenobia ruled the Palmyrene Empire in Roman Syria during the third century. When her husband (King Septimius Odaenathus) died, Zenobia took over. She fought the Romans, conquered Egypt and expanded her empire before eventually being defeated.
5. Queen Rani Lakshmibai
Queen Lakshmibai ruled an area of Northern India called Jhansi in the mid 19th century. She was considered a central figure in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, earning her the distinction of “India’s version of Joan of Arc.” She was known to be fierce and unyielding, killing anyone who stood in her way and the way of India’s freedom.
4. Queen Boudica
Queen Boudica led the British Iceni tribe. After her husband was killed, she was tortured by the Roman Empire, her daughters were raped and her people’s money was taken. Boudica then took 100,000 Iceni troops and fought the Legio IX Hispana, killing around 80,000 people. Nearly victorious, Boudica was then captured and killed herself.
3. Queen Mary I of England
Queen Mary I of England was best remembered as “Bloody Mary.” She received the frightening moniker because of the violent manner in which she carried out her religious persecutions. She reportedly burned over 280 people at the stake.
1. Elizabeth Báthory
Elizabeth Báthory is by far one of the scariest women in history, and the most brutal in this list. Known as the “Queen of Serial Killers,” Countess Báthory was also considered a vampire. After her husband died, she was accused of killing over 650 victims with the help of a few other women. The most gruesome detail is that she bathed in the blood of the virgins she killed to maintain her youth and beauty. Because of her status, she wasn’t held on trial.